PRACTICE REPORT: Derting returns

PULLMAN -- For any football team, picking up a preseason All-American linebacker and NFL prospect 10 weeks into the season would be beneficial. But for a team that's lost six straight and given up an average of 39.3 points in those games, such an acquisition is priceless. So in that respect, the return of senior Will Derting to Washington State's practice field Tuesday was a big deal.

However, due to a limited work schedule, Derting didn't go full out his first day back.

Practicing for the first time since a left knee sprain knocked him out of a Week 4 loss to Oregon State, Will Derting spent most of the day on the sidelines, wearing a cumbersome-looking brace and a pack of ice wrapped around his knee.

After the team's initial stretches and calisthenics, Derting took part in some of the drills during individual position time. He didn't participate in any seven-on-seven or 11-on-11 contact drills, though, as freshman Greg Trent resumed his fill-in role. Still, Derting was in good spirits afterwards.

"It felt pretty good," Derting said. "I've gotta get it out of my mind that (the injury) is there. I just have to go out and run."

When asked about the possibility of playing next Saturday against Oregon -- WSU's final home game of the season -- Derting couldn't say one way or the other.

"That's still up in the air. We're going to take it day-by-day," he said.

Coach Bill Doba has said he might try to at least get Derting on the field for a play or two in what would be his final game at Martin Stadium.

"I haven't heard that one," Derting said. "We'll talk about it. I'm not sure how I feel about that."

Defensive coordinator Robb Akey said Derting "looked like he felt okay" on Tuesday.

"We got him a little bit of work. The big thing is; how does (the knee) respond? If it responds well, that's great. If not, he won't play," Akey said.

Receivers Brandon Gibson (hip), Michael Bumpus (ankle) and Marty Martin (concussion) did not practice and likely will not play against Oregon.

Quarterback Alex Brink looked good throwing the ball, despite a shoulder sprain suffered last Saturday against Arizona State. Brink showed hardly any effects of the injury, but did visibly wince a couple times after plays.

Trandon Harvey made a spectacular catch, similar to the one made by Alabama receiver Tyrone Prothron against South Florida earlier this year that's been run over and over on ESPN. Running a deep post route, Harvey was covered by cornerback Tyron Brackenridge. As the pass made its descent, Harvey jumped and reached his arms around Brackenridge's back to make the catch.

Brackenridge redeemed himself a few plays later, though. On a toss sweep, Brackenridge leveled fullback Brandon Asuega-Stark, knocking the runner to the ground and causing a fumble.

Akey was wearing a camouflage WSU baseball cap during practice. Asked about it, Akey said, "We're going Duck hunting!"

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